The long, lazy days of summer are passing, the first touches of autumn are in the
air, the first meeting of Southport Stamp and Postcard Club new season is arriving
on schedule, with all the smooth well-oiled precision of an express train. Which
is appropriate, in an odd kind of way, as the topic for our opening session was 'Railway
Station Postmarks of Great Britain.' Station Master on this occasion was Mr Cyril
DeFriez, visiting from Lytham St Anne's who took us back in history to 1844, and
the establishment of the first Railway Station Office in Gloucester, dealing no doubt
with the chaos and confusion caused by the need to transfer all the mails from one
train to another where the standard gauge of the Midland Railway met the broad gauge
of Brunel's finest, the Great Western. Our first class journey then took us through
single and double circles, duplexes and squared circles, up to the squashy rubberised
cancellers of modern times. We learned about the rare usage of Krag machine cancellers,
and admired the ingenuity of the troops in the Supplies department who had to find
some way of taking half the letters out of a Railway Sorting Office name in order
to fit what was left into the canceller, without losing sense, or putting the apostrophes
in the wr'ng place! Oh well, happy days. The Club expressed its thanks to Mr DeFriez
with a hearty round of applause.
6th October 2009
Each year we have one evening dedicated to Members’ displays themed around two letters
of the alphabet. Each year, one letter advances up the alphabet while the other moves
down, and this year the favoured two were ‘O’ and ‘K’
We learned about Ospreys and Kestrels from the world of Ornithology; we learned about
Friedrich August Kekule von Stradowitz who worked out the formulation of benzine,
which powered the four stroke engine developed by Nikolas August Otto. The Orange
Free State and the Orange River Colony was a stop on the way East to Kedah, Kelantan
and Kuala Lumpur. In a more spiritual vein, we looked at fascinating history of the
Passion Play from Oberammergau, and a series of postcards from Oxford.
All told, a really OK evening!
3rd November 2009
The History of the Posts from 1700 is a broad subject indeed, admirably covered by
Mr Gaywood, starting from the very first post marks introduced when the Royal Mail
was opened to the general public by King Charles II - purely as a fund-raising expedient!
Early postmarks featured day and month of posting, but frustratingly, not the year.
We tend to think of modern postal charges as being expensive, but a 4-ounce letter
sent from London to Edinburgh was more expensive in 1800 than it is today - that
is in actual money, not adjusted for inflation! But it was the Victorian period,
with its postage stamps, post cards, parcel post, registered letters and telegraphs,
which saw the development of what we would regard as modern communications. Especially
modern was the idea of establishing post offices only where they would be profit
making, or would be subsidised by the local community - and that in the first half
of the 19th century!
All-in-all, a veritable tour d’horizon, and there can’t have been any in the audience
who did not learn something new.
1st December 2009
Our evening’s entertainment was to have included a presentation on the Victoria Cross
by Past Secretary Les Johnson, but in his absence Mr Koller gave us twice as much
information on ‘Birds of a Feather.’ Probably the most popular ‘exotic’ bird is the
penguin, which always attracts attention; what is perhaps less well known is that
there are some seventeen different species which live in the Antarctic and far south
of the globe. Mr Koller displayed stamps from many countries, featuring this appealing
birds. We were in rather more awe of the second part of the presentation: Birds of
Prey. Falcons and Eagles are not widely known in our part of the world, but hawks,
merlins, kestrels and owls certainly are. These have all featured philatelically!
5th January 2010
For the first time in a very long time it was necessary to cancel the Club Meeting.
The cause was evident to everyone who looked out of their window, or tried to cross
the street. A day during which a considerable amount of snow fell resulted in serious
compaction, and the formation of surfaces rather like the Cresta Run. So, rather
than take too many chances, we pulled the plug.
Our visiting speaker for the evening was to have been Mr Robert Flamman, and we hope
to be able to enjoy his presentation in a forthcoming programme.
2nd February 2010
Before starting our meeting this month, we observed a respectful silence in memory
of two members, Mr Barry Moss, and the Ven. Colin Bedford, and the wife of another
member, Mr Graham Marten, all of whom had passed away since our last meeting in December.
The condolences of all the Club Members were offered to their families and friends
In view of the seriously wintry weather we experienced last month, it was a pleasant
change to look at scenes and stamps from ‘South of the Equator.’ Of course, it snows
and does other seasonal things in the other half of the globe, but we can pick and
choose what we look at. Our members had picked and chosen very carefully, and we
were treated to a little exotic warmth, starting with the stamps of the French colony
in Madagascar from the earliest days in the 19th Century. Mr Koller followed, with
material from South Africa celebrating the tercentenary of Jan Van Riebeeck, in 1952.
A member who might care to remain anonymous exhibited some fascinating stamps from
Ghana, before it was pointed out that the Equator actually runs to the south of that
country, but nonetheless we enjoyed the show.
Miss Taylor treated us to an artistic tour, with issues from Australia, the Cook
Islands, South America and Antarctica. After such a long journey our collective strength
was restored by Mr Hyde, and the Health Stamps of New Zealand. Mr Kipps was delighted
to display an SG1 - doubly so, as this was the inaugural set from South Georgia,
issued in 1963 together with other issues before South Georgia stamps were replaced
by those of the Falkland Islands. Mr Patterson reminded us of the temperatures outside,
with stamps from the Australian Antarctic Territory - though speculating that many
of these issues Are philatelic as they are also available for use in Australia.
Mr Marten concluded the evening with displays of material from the Boer Republics
in southern Africa, and the VRI and ERI overprints on their stamps following the
end of the war.
2nd March 2010
The Norman Barlow Cup is one of the Club’s three trophies, kindly donated in memory
of one of our former members. It is competed for every third year, and requires entries
of nine or twelve pages of stamps and postal history of Great Britain, the Channel
Islands and the Isle of Man, but excluding Cinderellas and those of the smaller islands
whose postal administrations do not have recognised status. This year we were fortunate
to have four entries in this category. The entries were set out, anonymously, and
Members were invited to award points based on a number of categories, including the
arrangement and mounting of the exhibit, the range and quality of the material displayed,
the style and content of the writing-up, and the philatelic knowledge show.
This year’s entries featured the Stamps of King George V, the 31st Philatelic Congress
of Great Britain, the Story of the Posts, and the winning entry, put up by Mr Stuttard,
the Telegraph Stamps of Great Britain.
All-in-all, a most memorable evening.
Calendar for the 2009-2010 Season
To make things clearer, we've colour coded the type of meeting:
 Blue is for regular Members' Evenings,
 Green is for Evenings where a visiting speaker will make a
 Red is for the AGM.
1st September 2009 The Season opens with the first of our Guest Speakers for the
year. Mr Cyril Defriez, from Lytham St Anne's, will blow the whistle on 'Railway
Postmarks of Great Britain.'
6th October 2009 This evening is the first of our Members' Evenings for the year.
The theme is entirely open, but there must be some connection with the letters 'K'
and 'O' It is worth noting that in previous years there has been considerable ingenuity
shown in developing these connections!
3rd November 2009 Our second Guest Speaker for the year is Mr Paul Gaywood from
Preston, who will be visiting a favourite stamping ground with his presentation 'Great
Britain: The History of the Posts from 1700.'
1st December 2009 We will be amazed and impressed, not just once, but twice, tonight
as two of our members give half-evening presentations. Mr Ian Koller will swoop down
with 'Birds of a Feather' while Mr Les Johnson will be mentioned in despatches for
his review of 'The Victoria Cross.' PS It is always possible that there might be
the odd mince pie served this evening.
5th January 2010 Our January meeting ought to be rather colourful, concentrating
as it does on the blue 'Danube from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.' We welcome
Mr Robert Flamman as our Speaker.
2nd February 2010 What better way to lighten a dark evening as we set off for distant
parts and exotic climes as our members give displays of anything and everything philatelic
from 'South of the Equator.'
2nd March 2010 This evening sees the competition for the Norman Barlow Cup, featuring
displays of material from Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man,
but excluding 'local' issues from some of the less-inhabited islands!
6th April 2010 The 'Philatelist King' ascended the throne in May 1910. To commemorate
the centenary our members' displays this evening will focus on anything to do with
King George V.
4th May 2010 The Annual General Meeting. Not just the AGM, but also the Club Auction.
1st June 2010 The final meeting of the Season is our Postcard Evening. This year's
theme is quite straightforward: '140 years of Postcards' when our members can show
their favourite postcards, old and new.
Archive for the 2009-2010 Season
The Calendar and Journal of our Meetings
Even though our previous years’ programmes are now history, it can be interesting
to look back at the wide range of speakers and presentations which have both educated
and entertained us.
Here is the Archive for 2009-2010
6th April 2010
King George V is widely recognised as ‘The Philatelist King’ having taken an active
and personal interest in the stamps of Great Britain and the Empire, and having ensured
that the Royal Collection is one of the greatest archives of philatelic history in
the world. It is appropriate that our Members’ Displays, this evening, commemorated
the centenary of his accession to the throne.
We were treated to a treasury of material, exhibited by no fewer than eight of our
Members. The evening opened with a magnificent display from our Chairman, Mr Hyde,
of the GB Commemoratives of King George V as mint singles, and also as blocks of
four. This was followed by an exhibition from Miss Taylor of stamps featuring art
and artists from the period, including Picasso, Matisee, Klee, Ernst, Dali and Magritte!
Mr Marten showed King George stamps from southern and western Africa, and War and
Victory medals awarded to his father for service in the First World War. The stories
of some of his experiences reminded us of what the soldiers of the period went through.
Staying in Africa for a moment, Mr Robinson explained why the high value stamps from
Sierra Leone were his personal favourites.
More family war history was presented by Mr Thompson, the fortunate pocket full of
coins and other metalwork which saved his Great Uncle from death or serious injury
by shrapnel, reminded us of our own more fortunate times.
The controversy over the ‘Downey’ head designs led to a competition for the ‘Ideal
Stamp’ sponsored by the Junior Philatelic Society, and Mr Stuttard presented a number
of essays from this competition. Mr Kipps displayed a series of photographic postcards
featuring cars from the ‘twenties and ‘thirties, and the evening was rounded off
by a display of WAR TAX overprints from the Turks and Caicos Islands, shown by Mr
4th May 2010
May is the month when we all gather together to set the scene for the next year.
The Club’s officers are nominated, and voted upon, and the subscription set. The
theme for this year seems to be stability. All of the existing officers were happy
to continue, no-one else was put forward, and we were all voted back in for another
year. The subscription remains at £10, which at the rate of £1 per meeting remains
quite modest. As an aside, we usually make ourselves a cup of tea, and nibble on
a biscuit, part way through each evening; for this, we charge ourselves 20p. This
is cheaper, adjusting for inflation, than the 4d which our predecessors paid in 1935!
The nitty gritty having been dealt with, Mr Hyde donned his auctioneer’s hat, and
proceeded to bolster the Club’s funds; his success in doing this helps materially
in keeping the subscription to its current modest level!
1st June 2010
This meeting, the last of the 2009-10 Season, was dedicated to Post Cards, and an
invitation was extended to our members to show whatever they chose from the 140 years
in which PCs have been PC.
We were, indeed, treated to a wide variety.
Mr Smith opened with a range of modern cards from the part of France where he had
a holiday home for a number of years. The range and quality of these certainly impressed.
Mr Koller’s collection was nothing if not eclectic, with a selection of cars, cards
from the independent postal administration in Jersey, the handling of mail by coach
in 1838 and on board the Aquitania in 1919, to mention but few. Mr Hyde presented
an extensive series from the Golden Age, just prior to the first world war, issued
by the London and North Western Railway company in sets of six, at a price of 2d,
featuring locomotives, tunnels, flooding at Walsall in 1886, and the creosoting of
Mr Kipps’ cards recorded the devastating floods at Boscastle in 2004, and the launch
of the Renault Magane. Mr Bretherton’s display featured the work of Henry George
Walker, who produced a number of pictures of sailing barges, at Babbacombe, in around
Miss Taylor took the theme to heart, with cards from much of the 140 year period,
and including examples of cards produced from family photographs, a very popular
activity before the second world war. The evening closed with a few cards shown by
Mr Leather, each with a small story attached, such as the card sent by an American
sergeant from France in 1918, where the censor had deleted part of the message -
in pencil! - and the stamp confirming the censorship had obliterated around a quarter
of the message. Brilliant. Upon which happy note, we all adjourned until September
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